It’s Only Romantic When You Still Love Them

This writing is now available as a podcast episode!


While we were in Madrid in September, we took several tours through AirBnB experiences (I highly recommend them!), and as we strolled through Lavapiés, our guide pointed out some modeled lips just randomly sticking out from a building.

She explained that there were 700 or so of these lips all over the neighborhood, modeled and placed by a man whose girlfriend had left him.

He created a pair of lips for every day he was without a woman in his life (or so the story goes).

I think we saw maybe a double handful of them.

Our tour guide was in her twenties, and she said, wistfully, “I told my boyfriend he could be that romantic.”

I replied, “My ex-husband once convinced a local comedy group to allow him to get on stage and declare his love for me during a performance.”

She sighed a bit.

I said, “It’s only romantic when you still love them. If you don’t still love them, or worse, you barely even know them, it’s creepy. It’s stalkerish.”

Her eyes opened wide, as she thought about it. And she got it. She agreed. Then went on to talk a bit about the things he does NOW, while they are in their relationship that are romantic, and took us meandering further in our tour.

I could have continued the story instead of letting it go.

I had broken up with him. He was an alcoholic with mental issues and had emotionally abused me. The show was something I had taken to doing for myself, with my friends, as I put my life back together as a single woman.

And I was mortified.

EVERYONE in the audience was looking at me. Wanting me to give him a positive response.

Except I couldn’t.

I couldn’t do anything for too long. I was just…frozen.

It was yet another attempt to manipulate me, to ignore what I had said over and over that I wanted—to be left alone.

Finally, I was able to say, “No,” and walked out.

He tried to meet me as I left. People tried to stop me, to allow him to show his love—all well intentioned, I’m sure.

I felt trapped. Panic-y. And for a short while, hopeless that this constant stream of trying to get my attention, trying to convince me that he knew better for me than I knew for myself would ever end.

“Marry a guy who will email you when you block him.”

This morning, I saw this meme on FB.

Woman:

“Marry a guy who will email you when you block him.”

Man:

“Fellas, marry a woman who doesn’t play these kinds of games.”

Leaving aside the second point for another writing—because I feel it needs to be addressed, just not to dilute today’s topic—let’s stop glorifying, even to ourselves, the actions of violating consent.

Let’s choose partners who, if blocked, will realize you’ve just withdrawn consent to be contacted, and who WANT you to have the time and space you need to figure things out.

Let’s love those who make us feel like we can simply say, “give me some time to think about this,” without having to go tot he extreme of blocking them.

Let’s glorify people who make their feelings known day in and day out without screwing things up so much that they have to stand outside a window holding a boom box playing Peter Gabriel.

Marry (or don’t marry) the person who celebrates you for who you are, encourages you to be whoever you want to be, and respects you when you say “No,” however you do it.

In Life And Love, VALUE Is The Key

This writing is now available as a podcast episode!


I’ve said loudly and often that the best relationship, in my view, is one where both people feel like they get FAR MORE from the relationship than they put in.

‘Far more’ being value.

It doesn’t matter how nice you are or how good you look on paper if you provide no value.

Everyone has worth.

Not everyone provides value.

This isn’t about victimhood.

It isn’t about validation.

It’s about value.

Not what YOU value—at least not at first.

It’s about what everyone else values.

When you have an attitude of providing value—volunteering, helping, solving problems—you will give people something they believe they can use, and they might do cool things with it.

Some of those people will share those things with you.

And that’s important. Because you are not a bottomless well of awesome. You need replenishing. You need value returned to you. Some will come from those you give it to. Some will come from unexpected places, if you’re open to it.

People who love you will give you back value of their own. I’d go so far as to say that if you want to surround yourself with people who provide value, then ruthlessly cut off anyone who does not offer you value in return.

Of course, those people will be doing the same, so you will need to put your value out there to attract them in the first place.

Bait, if you will.

And just as in fishing, the bait you use will influence what you catch.

Value will attract people who look for value. Some will provide value in return. Keep these to be proud of and to fill you up. Some will be leeches or lampreys, and will need to be thrown back to suck others dry.

I’m not advocating tit-for-tat.

In fact, even in it’s most positive form, tit-for-tat is a crappy relationship paradigm.

That’s what I mean by getting far more value from the relationship than you put in.

But that’s further long than in the attraction phase.

Because in the beginning, we need to see something in another human that attracts us. That’s the value.

And we need to see enough of it to spur action, multiple times, to get to a point where we can really take whatever this is seriously.

But what is value?

To many it’s simple: beauty or physical attraction of some sort.

That is one kind of value, sure. But there are more we have to offer:

  • physical attractiveness
  • humor
  • insightfulness
  • caring
  • kindness
  • competency
  • appreciation
  • understanding
  • knowledge
  • sadism/masochism
  • skills
  • helpfulness

There are hundreds more. And each person’s value image is slightly different than others, I’d guess. Like a fingerprint of what we desire.

And when someone exhibits one of our top values, we’re drawn to them.

When they continue exhibiting those values AND (as importantly) show appreciation for the values we exhibit as well, bonds form, and we create relationships—play connections, friendships, and love.

And that is where the value is key.

Because when we are exhibiting values that are natural to us, it’s not hard. And when people reflect back to us that they appreciate those values, that’s a value in itself. Add to the values they exhibit (hopefully as naturally as breathing to them), and voilà! We feel we are getting FAR MORE than we give.

Which is just right.

Please Send…

He texted:

“Please send me some photos of you and some of us for me to share with my mother.”

He added:

“No strap ons.”

LOLOLOLOLOLOL!

I can just see it. “And here we are in Madrid. She sent me one this while I was camping a few weekends ago. And this, oh! This is my girlfriend’s dick, Mom. Isn’t she a peach?”

I love my life.

Languages Of Self-Love

So, we talk a lot about love languages in discussing how we can treat our partners and friends, even kids.

However, I saw a meme going around talking about how our love languages might be tied into the kinds of self-care we practice as well, which is an intriguing thought.

Touch

Physical wellness. Things that make your body feel good and provide sensation.

  • Get a massage.
  • Wear sensual clothing that feels good to you: cashmere, silk, etc.
  • Exercise, moving your body.
  • Spa treatments.
  • Body positivity.
  • Masturbation.
  • Smile and stand up straight.
Continue reading “Languages Of Self-Love”

Have You Ever Wanted To Kick A Puppy?

That was one of the questions I asked last night in a lively debate about love and sex and kink.

I had been talking about not ever wanting to hurt someone I love, and going out of my way to avoid doing it intentionally.

They countered with the claim that it was never intentional. It “just happens,” when people are upset and cannot control their emotions.

So, I said, “Have you ever wanted to kick a puppy? Or punch your child in the face?”

They looked horrified and said, “No.”

I asked if they had done those things.

They said “No” again, this time as if they were looking for the trap.

I pointed out that they did not do those things because to them, those things are anathema. Repugnant. Wrong.

They agreed.

Then I asked if they would do those things when they were REALLY REALLY angry.

They said they would not.

So, I asked, “Then why would you hurt someone you love with your words? Unless deep down in your heart you want to? Unless in the core of your mind you want to? You want them to hurt like you are hurting, to prove they love you or feel for you, or something.

“Because if you really believe that hurting someone you love is 100% wrong, and there is NO REASON TO EVER do it, you won’t.”

Humans will human.

I was very clear in the ensuing conversation that I am not perfect. I do sometimes want to hurt someone I love the way I am hurting, deeply and instinctually, and sometimes it slips out.

However, I mostly don’t. And when I do, it horrifies me.

There is no reason, ever (sure, prove me wrong—I can’t think of any though) to emotionally attack someone to cause them pain just because I am hurting.

Just like there is no reason (for me), ever to:

  • abuse animals
  • abuse children
  • abuse people
  • rape
  • cheat

And so on.

And so, I never have. Not on purpose—on purpose.

Yes, I’ve said some hateful things. Never with a conscious intent to hurt. But definitely with a subconscious intent to.

And because I realized that was wrong for me, I do that MUCH less often as well.

There is NO WAY that I can avoid hurting people accidentally, through misunderstandings or thoughtlessness or just being me. I accept that, and do my best.

And I am every day, in small and large ways also teaching myself that hurting people I love on purpose is wrong.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Why Don’t They Spend More Time With Me?

I’ve heard this in so many variations over the years. In sad tones, in frustrated ones, in anguish.

Indeed, it’s incredibly hurtful when the people we want to spend time with/eat with/snuggle with/whatever with don’t want to do all that with us, or with us as often.

Thing is, the hurt people usually feel asking this question is often turned into resentment and anger, towards the person not spending the time, like they are intentionally withholding themselves when the original asker has A RIGHT to their time.

And don’t tell me you’ve not made this mistake before.

A LOT.

Thinking you have the right to someone’s time and energy and love and snuggles and whatever, because…why?

Sure, if you have both agreed to a date/time, you are generally ok expecting that someone will fulfill that. However, are you entitled to it?

No.

And I’m not, either.

And I make this mistake a lot. At least in my head, where sometimes I can catch it before it flies from my fleeting thoughts to actual entitled behavior—and sometimes I can’t.

Sure, I fall into the trap of saying, “Why don’t they want to spend more time with me,” or “They never seem to make me a priority…”

Of course. It’s human.

And I see it in everyone I know. Some more than others, of course.

However, I realize that it’s up to me to put in the effort that will inspire the people I want to spend time with to want to spend time with me…

—OR—

…realize that we are not a match, and let us both move on.

It really is that simple.

Which, does not equate with easy.

But it’s simple:

The people who want to spend time with me will, or they’ll make it clear that they want to, even when life gets in the way.

The people who don’t, won’t.

And that’s OK.

It’s their right.

And if I get to spend time with people I love and enjoy, I am thankful for that time. Grateful. Happy. And appreciative.

Because I know they want to spend that time with me.

And I feel the same way about a text reaching out. Or a call. Or a message. And when I reach out, I expect people to know I’m doing so because they are on my mind, and I care, even when I’m crazy busy and failing at balancing life.

It’s simple.

And at some point, we’ll find a way to spend some more time.

Image by Monoar Rahman Rony from Pixabay

I Teach That Communication Is Not The Words You Say, But Every Action, Every Moment Until The End of Time

Back in April, I wrote That ONE Thing You Didn’t Do, which sparked some good debate from both sides, in agreement and against.

After all, who hasn’t known the pain of giving something that was not at all appreciated, and who hasn’t also had people give them things they didn’t want, and say they were ungrateful?

I think we’ve all been in both pairs of shoes.

@UnicornHusbandry said something perfectly in a comment, that I’d like to share and expound upon.

It should be a lot more simple than it is. The issue seems almost childish. But it’s such a common problem in relationships, isn’t it?

What we give to another person, in time, affection or gifts, all indicates who we believe them to be. Do we see them as our property? Do we see them as our student or child who must be instructed? Do we see them as our parent who must offer us unlimited support and affection?

For example, big-scary-thing-in-life happens. How do you treat your partner?

  • Command them in what to do? (property)
  • Give them ideas and suggestions and teach them? (student or child)
  • Cower behind them and expect them to save us? (parent)
  • Offer support and say, “I know you’ve got this, and I’m here, always, if you need or want anything.” (capable adult)

How we engage with others communicates clearly how we view them.

Over time.

I wrote this in 2014: How Do I Say…?

It still guides my relationship with my Pet every moment.

It still guides me in my relationships throughout my life.

It’s a reminder that showing appreciation for those around me is not a once in a while thing, but an ongoing series of actions from now until the end of time.

Which written out like that, seems pretty heavy.

Like those ads that we see around Christmas about not getting a puppy as a present. A relationship may be a lifetime commitment—every moment of every day.

Of course, there are many relationships: friends, lovers, children, bosses, coworkers.

And we communicate with all of them with our actions.

And when we act unthinkingly with those around us, we communicate that we are not thinking of them.

When we treat people as we see them…

We may be communicating that we see them more clearly than anyone—or that we don’t see them at all.

Sure, there are days when I am distracted, and I don’t pay the people around me as much attention as they may want.

I’m human.

However, over time, my people know I’m here for them, in nearly anything, from needing an ear for a rant, to being the place they flee to when their latest relationship ends and they have no place to live that isn’t full of broken hearts.

And that’s what I want to communicate to them. So, I make sure I AM there for them, because that’s the best way to make that clear.

Seems simple, right?

Then why do we so often get it wrong?

Polyamory: Respect & Metamours—A Question

“How do you gain respect from those who are courting your partner? Kinda done being treated like a speed bump on the way to my spouse.

Asking an outside party because I am done bugging him about it.

Thanks.”

You don’t worry about it. They will or won’t, eventually. Although how they see your partner treat you matters.

It’s up to your partner to determine whether they are OK with people who don’t respect you being in their life.

And how your partner treats you.

Image by 1388843 from Pixabay

On “Fighting” For My Sub…

A few years back, I wrote a piece, Trying To Steal My Sub, Cunt?, in which I wish said thief good luck in their efforts.

Several people responded that I maybe didn’t show my sub that I wanted them enough, because I refuse to fight for them, because I said, “And, frankly, if you do manage to steal them, I’ll thank you.”

One comment said this:

If they let me go without a fight, then I, too, am glad to be walking away.

There is a difference between fighting to keep a submissive through my actions TO THAT SUBMISSIVE, and fighting another dominant in any way.

I am very happy to say what I want, and do my best by my submissive.

THAT is my fight.

EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Continue reading “On “Fighting” For My Sub…”

Are You A Lover Or A Hater?

Of course, the original is, “I’m a lover, not a fighter,” but online, there’s not much fighting. There is, however, a lot of hate.

Sniping hate, sent from mostly anonymous keyboards.

It’s part of what I’ve disliked about dating sites since the earliest days of dating sites.

And it seems totally counter-intuitive.

I mean, do people really think that the best way to connect with others is to be hateful? And even when it’s not someone you want to connect with, why even? Just to feel smugly superior?

Continue reading “Are You A Lover Or A Hater?”